How to Pack For a Move Across Country

Dinner plates packed in a box.
Justin Hutchinson / Getty Images

Are you getting ready to move? For some people, this can be a daunting task. You have things tucked away in closets, extra rooms and in the back of the cupboards--items that may have been collected over 20 years. Where do you begin?

First, you need to have that initial yard sale or charity donation. Second, pack the things that are not in daily use; pictures on the walls, out of season clothing, once a year use small appliances and dishes, decorative items, books, and photo albums.

When packing always mark clearly on each box what you've placed inside. Another tip: indicate which room the items came on the box. When you arrive at your new home it will help to know what room the pictures came from. This will jog your memory because what we remember most is where we saw the item(s) last. This also helps in placement of the boxes when unloading at your new home.

So what's left? Now you are down to the items you use daily. Keep bins in the garage for charity or another yard sale, and a trash bin. Moving is a great opportunity to weed out those items we no longer wish to store and to get rid of the extra clutter of things we no longer use every day.

When your move date is within a week or two you will want to designate a large room in which to stack boxes and the items you have ready to move. Three empty rooms (other than large pieces of furniture) and only one room with boxes will lessen your anxiety, helping you to feel not only organized but ready for the day of the actual move. Having four out of ten cabinets empty in the kitchen will also help you to feel like you have been productive and don't have as much to do on the actual day of the move.

The process of cleaning out the cupboards, packing non-daily use items into boxes, transferring them into the large designated room, and consolidating what you have left into a few cupboards rather than having your items spread throughout the kitchen, will keep you organized for the day you are faced with packing the last minute items.

Organizing your packing will also make the actual moving process much faster. You won't have boxes spread all over the house in every single room and closet. You will have ​more empty spaces than full ones, and the people loading will not be searching every cabinet, drawer and room for items to load onto the truck.

It is never too early to begin packing for a move.